Elena was born and spent most of her life in St. Petersburg, Russia - a city of artists, ballet and music, or a cultural capital of Russia as most people say. For example, in St. Petersburg it’s a common practice to skip classes being not at club, but in Hermitage or art galleries.
Although Elena was interested in arts from childhood, she got Master’s Degree in finances and built a good career in investment area in Russia: she was an author and an editor of several text-books printed for universities and professional educational centers, had a department under supervision, and was a well-known expert on mutual funds.
However, in 2005 Elena started learning academic drawing and painting and her life started turning into another way. So, in 2009, when Elena moved to Canada and settled in Vancouver, she decided to quit finances and devote herself to the arts. The same year Elena opened an art studio for children and adults under RUSART Fine Arts name.
While Elena likes to take advantages of every medium she prefers painting in watercolours and oils. Since oil is very deep and complex medium, every day Elena enjoys painting and learning something new. Started as a realist she’s gradually moving to surrealism and imagination painting creating her own world full of colours, love and energy.
What is my method of teaching and what to expect at classes with me?
I’m sure that if you decided to take art classes you’re already an artist and my role is to help you to find yourself. Art is not a science and what works for science and math will not work here. Yes, we have some rules to follow and some theory to know, but it doesn’t mean you should always follow the rules. You can find mistakes in master pieces by Michelangelo, Eduard Manet, Edgar Degar and many other famous artists. If you can’t I’ll help to find. Your soul, not rules, brings a picture to life and makes it look remarkable. So, I’m trying to work with everyone individually and help find students their own style and a way of painting.
We choose a project together that matches your tastes and skills and I’ll tell you step-by-step how to start a project and explain basics of composition, perspective and mixing colours.
As nowadays art styles are so different I’ll offer you some that would work better for a chosen project. The more projects you make with me the more styles and techniques you’ll learn. My goal is to introduce as many styles and techniques as possible, so in the future you can choose what fits you better. Even if you find this or that style too challenging or not very suitable to your personality, at least you tried it and made a choice. As everything start with academism (realism), I demonstrate it first.
Sometimes you’ll be asked to start painting or drawing what you see, with no instruction for a short time, but with a feedback from me. I know, it sounds frustrating, but only this helps develop your observation skills, wake up your mind, reveal your artistic personality, and eventually will make you independent from me as a teacher. I’ll explain all mistakes (if any) made and what to pay attention to in the future. If a painting implies repetition you may be offered to do repetitive things at home, if you have time and space for this. Yes, I’m trying to save your classroom time.
I’ll show how to use materials, how to mix colours and how to make your painting look more alive. The more classes you’re taking the more you’ll learn about how colours work together. I don’t overwhelm with mixing colours information at the beginning. As all pigments are different, I’ll show, for example, which red and blue give you purple and which ones give you brown. Also, I’m explaining difference between different kinds of colours (like zinc white and titanium white etc.) and when and how to use them.
I’m not painting for you. If something doesn’t look the way you expect, next time, with more experience, you’ll achieve better results.
All these are the same for both kids and adults. Of course, with kids we do that at their level, but principles are the same.
My students get awards, participate in art shows in Greater Vancouver and even sell their paintings! Yes, you can become a successful artist too. It involves a lot work, but it worth it. I have 8 years of experience teaching classes at different levels and I’ve worked with over 700 adults and children.
Exhibitions and art shows:
- 2010 - (group) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
- 2011 - (individual) Vancouver Media Art, Vancouver
- 2011 - (individual) New Westminster Cultural Crawl
- 2011 - (individual) West End Community Center, Vancouver
- 2011 - (group) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
- 2011 - (group) New Westminster Artist Group, New Westminster
- 2012 - (group) Art Square, New Westminster
- 2012 - (group) Visual Verse - 2012, New Westminster
- 2012 - (group) Elemental Show, New Westminster
- 2013 - (group) Visual Verse - 2013, New Westminster
- 2013 - (group) Small and Crafty Show, New Westminster
- 2014 - (group) New Westminster Cultural Crawl, New Westminster
- 2014 - (group) Wonderland, North Vancouver Art Council, CityScape Art Gallery
- 2016 - Van Gogh meseum exhibition at Oakridge Centre, 1st place award
- 2016 - (group) Art Squared, New Westminster Art Council
- 2016 - (group) Positively Petite, Place des Arts, Coquitlam
- 2016 - (group) Fall Classic Art Show, Rusart Fine Arts Co., New Westminster
- 2016 - (group) Slavic Gala, UBC